No disrespect to rookie Kevin Dotson, who played a heck of a game in his first NFL start last week against Denver. But there’s something about getting to run behind a #66 jersey again that just feels right. Consider James Conner, like every other Steelers’ fans, happy to see David DeCastro back in the lineup. Conner ran for 109 yards on 6.1 yards per carry in Pittsburgh’s 28-21 win Sunday afternoon.
“I love it,” Conner told reporters after the game. “I love it. Anytime I know Dave is pulling, he’s a beast. I can’t say enough about him. His work ethic, his dedication to this game, his consistency. Taking the field with all those guys in the huddle, there’s nothing like it. It’s real special to put on that black and gold.”
As a team, the Steelers ran for 169 yards and a touchdown against the Texans’ run defense. DeCastro was used to pull a half-dozen times, helping to spring Conner for his great performance. Pittsburgh’s now able to reliably pull both guards, Matt Feiler was out in space as much as DeCastro, including on Conner’s go-ahead 12 yard score.
Pittsburgh’s offensive line saw stability for the first time all season. They lost linemen against the Giants, welcomed Dotson and Chukwuma Okorafor for Denver before getting DeCastro back this season. Okorafor is still technically the backup right tackle with Zach Banner done for the season but he’s played well through the first two weeks.
Conner went on to say the Steelers are a complete team and agreed with DeCastro having a playmaking defense makes life a whole lot easier.
“We’re a four quarter team. And like Dave was saying our defense allowed us to get back into the game. When a defense is making three and out stops, keep putting us back out there on offense, we got to get it going sooner or later.”
The offense got it going in the second half, outscoring the Texans 11-0 to rally from a 14-3 second quarter deficit. Pittsburgh controlled the ball and the clock, keeping Deshaun Watson on the sideline as they marched up and down the field.
Next Sunday will be a matchup of 3-0 teams as the Titans had their own comeback to beat the Vikings 31-30 on a late field goal. But they struggled to stop the run, Minnesota running for over 220 yards, so the Steelers will look to run behind DeCastro to daylight in a week.